This blog originally appeared on TechWire Asia. It’s a 4-minute read.
Over the last eighteen months, Chief Accounting Officers around the world have been operating as head of their organization's financial function, a role that has been central to weathering the pandemic storm.
Few companies have benefited from the effective shutdown of many global businesses, and in some cases, the most achievable goal has been staying afloat. Far too many companies have been forced to pull down the shutters in 2021 and the early part of 2021.
Amid the layoffs, issues around maintaining liquidity, pressure to reduce operating costs, and HR issues, CAOs have managed to pull many organizations through the worst season in their company’s history.
BlackLine developed a virtual event to further equip and support CAOs and finance leaders, helping them make the move to modern accounting and further cementing their position as a strategic player in today's business. The Modern Accounting Summit brought together key figures from technology, accounting, and APAC consultancies to openly discuss the current situation—and the future of Accounting.
Here are the five next steps CAOs and their teams can take to help prepare them for what lies ahead. For a deeper dive into how your teams can achieve each one, you can now watch the entire virtual event on demand.
Seize the Opportunity
Look at your business as an outsider to gain a different perspective. Ask yourself: What can I do proactively that would benefit the organization? Use your creativity to find new ways to help in your areas of expertise.
Everyday accountancy tasks are often repetitive, yet require a level of detail and oversight that is critical to both the department and the wider business. Using technology in Accounting and Finance helps free up your teams for more strategic initiatives and value-adding tasks.
(Sidebar: Many other departments in your organization may have fully embraced technologies. If so, look to those departments that have made a successful digital transformation for guidance. Success stories often come from Marketing, Sales, and Logistics.)
Look to the Cloud
Though software may have been historically installed locally, on-premise, the future of technology is in the cloud. Leading technology that is purpose-built for Accounting is almost always cloud-based because of the ability to scale and still be responsive.
Cloud applications allow business users to gain automatic access to the latest features for automation, standardization, and analytics. With no hardware, software, or third-party tools to install or maintain, there is no need to rely on IT. This gives accounting and finance professionals full control over systems and change management.
Think About Tomorrow's Technologies
Almost every vertical is hearing the buzz phrases of "artificial intelligence (AI)," "machine learning," and "smart technologies." In many industries, including Accounting and Finance, these technologies are a reality.
Robotic process automation is driving efficiency and consistency by applying business rules to eliminate high-volume tasks like reconciliations. Over time, machine learning enables continuous optimization by predicting future matches to further reduce the need for manual effort and reliance on remittances.
Often built on top of automation processes like robotic process automation, AI can learn and make better decisions over time, reducing the number of edge cases that need human intervention.
(You can learn more about automation in accountancy by watching the virtual event on demand).
Lead the Conversation from Data
Chief Accounting Officers have been pushed into a central position in the enterprise over the last few months. Maintaining this position as a strategic player means access to insights from comprehensive financial data that's right up to date and insightful for the future.
Using digital solutions from vendors like BlackLine is how executives get the information they need in formats that are quickly presentable and easily assimilated—often by audiences much broader than the finance function.
Ready to take the next steps in your journey to modern accounting? Watch The Modern Accounting Summit on-demand here.